Boast and post: How digital intelligence has helped police track down 144 criminal braggarts

Intelligence-driven strategies are helping identify and charge youth offenders who use social media to brag about car theft, Queensland police say.

Feb 08, 2024, updated Feb 08, 2024
A Toyota 4WD originally stolen in Queensland has been involved in a muti-car crash in Sydney's north overnight. (Nine News)

A Toyota 4WD originally stolen in Queensland has been involved in a muti-car crash in Sydney's north overnight. (Nine News)

More than 140 youth offenders seeking notoriety and who  “boast and post” about their crimes on social media have been charged as part of an online police sting tracking their activities.

Queensland Police’s Digital Intelligence and Community Engagement (DICE) team has assisted detectives in identifying and charging 144 young people with offences laws introduced last year.

They have been charged with the aggravating factor of social media boasting in relation to vehicle theft.

The Queensland Police Service (QPS) said DICE, established mid-2023, is increasing online pressure on youth offenders and generated more than 600 investigative leads which helped identify 65 offenders.

Using intelligence driven strategies, the officers target offenders seeking notoriety as they ‘boast and post’ or livestream their crimes online.

Deputy Police Commissioner Shane Chelepy said in a statement DICE officers work around the clock to track down these offenders who flaunt their criminal escapades online.

“To steal a car is criminal and reckless, but to brag about it on social media is heartless and brazen.

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“Although our DICE team is new to operations, already dozens of victims of crime have found justice thanks to their efforts and the efforts of detectives in identifying, locating and arresting 144 alleged offenders,” Mr Chelepy said.

The DICE team provides investigators with enhanced identification of both offenders and victims through social media and community platform, the QPS said.

DICE operations include sharing vital safety information to relevant online community social media pages, including during disasters, and community crime prevention efforts, the QPS said.

Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan said in a statement there is no place for this type of behaviour and criminal offenders seeking notoriety online will be targeted and charged.

“As technology and criminal trends change, police will continue to adapt, to ensure thorough investigations to arrest offenders and protect the public,’’ he said.

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